How police, NDDC staff shared N1.5bn as COVID-19 relief package — Senate

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Senate on Thursday revealed how the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission shared the sum of N1.5 billion among staff and the Nigeria Police Force as COVID-19 relief package.

National Assembly is currently probing allegation of misappropriation of N40 billion by the NDDC Interim Management Committee.

Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Investigation of the alleged Financial Recklessness in the NDDC, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, gave the details of how the money was spent at the ongoing investigative public hearing in Abuja.

The lawmaker said the sum of N10 million was given to one staff, N7 million each to two staff and N5 million each to three staff.

He said N3million each was given to 148 staff, N1.5million each to 175 staff, N1million each to 495 staff, N600,000 each to 464 staff and N475 million to the Nigeria Police to buy face mask and hand sanitisers.

But NDDC Acting Managing Director, Kemebradikumo Pondei, said in his response that the monies were given to the staff as COVID-19 relief fund to ease the effect of the pandemic on them.

“We have to take care of the staff, who are also the representatives of the people from the nine states of the Niger Delta region,” he said.

On the N475 million given to the police to buy face mask and hand sanitisers, he said the Commission received the request from the police high command and the management approved it.

He said, “We work very closely with the police. Without them, we can’t work.

“A request from the Police high command was made to us and the management looked at it and approved.

“We gave the money to Police high command and they have not given us the record of how the money was spent.”